Home icon

Over Here

About this video

This video takes place in an infant/toddler room of a university laboratory child care center and preschool during free play time. Jayden (20 months), Mason (21 months), Spencer (20 months), and the teacher, Cassie, are gathered around a table building a tower with blocks. Ryder (15 months) later joins in the fun, and they begin banging the blocks on the table. Another teacher, Sui Ping, is visible for a short time but is heard interacting with the group off camera.

This interaction shows young children working together to build a block tower and the teacher providing them with support, both in completing the task and to minimize frustration or conflicts.



Part 1

Mason, Jayden, and Spencer are building a tower with blocks when the teacher, Cassie, joins them.

Sui Ping (offscreen): Whoa! Look at that.

Cassie: Whoa! Now, Spencer, that’s his tower.

Spencer excitedly claps his hands and yells out “Yeah!”

Cassie: Yeah. Yay. Don’t knock it down. That’s Jayden’s tower.

Mason puts a block on the top and several blocks fall off.

Cassie: Whoops. No thank you. This is Jayden’s. Thank you for trying to help. Can you build your own tower over here? (She moves a block on the table to signal to Mason where to start building his tower.)

Mason: Yeah.

Cassie: Yeah. Tower? (To Spencer) Are you going to help him?

Spencer places a new block on top of the tower. It and another block fall, and Spencer squeals in excitement, dances a bit, and grins at the camera.

Cassie: (to Jayden) Oops. What’s that face?

Jayden: Uh oh.

Cassie: Uh oh.

Jayden places a block on top of his tower and verbalizes excitedly.

Sui Ping (off camera): Whoa. Good job.

Spencer squeals with excitement and then places a block on the tower; the top two blocks fall. He squeals with excitement again.

Jayden: Uh oh.

Cassie: Uh oh.

Spencer: Uh oh.

Cassie: Uh oh. (To Spencer) Can you build your own tower over here? (pointing to a different location on the table).

Spencer squeals loudly and grabs ahold of Jayden’s tower.

Cassie: Spencer, this is Jayden’s tower. Can you build one over here? (Points to the other end of the table). Can you stack one over there?

Ryder joins the group at the block table.

Cassie: (To Spencer) Oh, you want to help him?

Spencer puts a block on top of a tower.

Cassie: Jayden’s turn.

Sui Ping (to Ryder): Do it on the table.

Spencer squeals again while holding and waving around a yellow block.

Cassie (to Jayden, who is putting another block on top): Turn it. Ooh! Good job.

Jayden tries again as Ryder and Spencer are banging blocks on the table.

Part 2

Cassie and the four boys are at the table. Jayden adds two blocks to an already tall tower.

Sui Ping (off-camera): Good job Jayden.

Cassie: Ooh! (to Spencer) Hold on Spencer. Yeah. Can you hand it to Jayden to put it on? Oh. Thank you!

Two boys are banging on the table. Jayden reaches high to put one more block on the top of his tower, but it falls over.

Cassie: Ooh. Almost!

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three and strategies that caregivers used

Self-Regulation: Foundation of Development
Behavior Regulation
Children demonstrate the emerging ability to manage and adjust behaviors in accordance with social and cultural contexts

  • Strategies for interaction (16-24 months): Provide the child with clear limits and provide reminders of them through the day
  • Action: The teacher gently reminds the boys that Jayden is working on his tower and shows them where they can build.

Developmental Domain 1: Social & Emotional Development
Relationship with Peers
Children demonstrate the desire and develop the ability to engage and interact with other children.

  • Strategies for interaction (16-24 months):
    • Recognize and respond thoughtfully to the child’s verbal and nonverbal communication
    • Provide more than one of the same toy for the child and his or her peers to play with
  • Action: The teacher responded to Jayden’s facial expressions and Mason’s and Spencer’s vocalizations. She also provided many blocks with which the boys could build and encouraged them to do so.

Developmental Domain 2: Physical Development & Health
Fine Motor
Children demonstrate the ability to coordinate their small muscles in order to move and control objects.

  • Action: The teacher encouraged the boys to make a block tower and to keep adding blocks to the top when the blocks fell off the top.

Developmental Domain 3: Language Development, Communication, & Literacy
Receptive Communication
Children demonstrate the ability to comprehend both verbal and nonverbal communication.

  • Strategies for interaction (16-24 months): Use gestures while asking the child to complete actions
  • Action: The teacher pointed to a more appropriate location on the table for the boys to build a tower.

Approaches to Learning
Problem Solving
Children attempt a variety of strategies to accomplish tasks, overcome obstacles, and find solutions to tasks, questions, and challenges.

  • Strategies for interaction (16-24 months):
    • Validate and praise the child’s attempts to find solutions to challenges
    • Narrate while assisting the child in figuring out a solution, e.g., “Let’s try to turn the puzzle piece this way”
    • Provide the child with opportunities to solve problems with and without your help; minimize the possibility for the child to become frustrated
    • Respond to the child’s communication efforts
  • Action: The teacher supported each of the children when building a tower by praising their efforts, providing them with an alternate location to build, or holding the base of the tower for the child.

Approaches to Learning
Confidence & Risk-Taking
Children demonstrate a willingness to participate in new experiences and confidently engage in risktaking.

  • Strategies for interaction (16-24 months):
    • Remain available for the child during play; use reassuring cues to encourage the child to explore, e.g., smile, nod, and clap
    • Provide materials and activities that are challenging but not frustrating, e.g., large blocks, a simple puzzle
  • Action: The teacher showed excitement when the children were building the towers and supported them during the block play so they did not get frustrated.

Approaches to Learning
Persistence, Effort, & Attentiveness
Children demonstrate the ability to remain engaged in experiences and develop a sense of purpose and follow-through.

  • Strategies for interaction (16-24 months):
    • Provide the child with different manipulatives that he or she can explore independently, e.g., puzzles, peg boards, books
    • Celebrate the child’s accomplishment in a genuine manner
  • Action: The teacher helped to keep the children engaged by encouraging them to find a new location to build and by celebrating with them when they built the towers.